The 7 Principles of Exercise
In order to develop an effective exercise program you must adhere to certain basic guidelines. Here are 7 principles of exercise that you can implement whether you’re a weekend walker or seasoned athlete:
- Gradually increase your exercise intensity (how hard you work) and/or duration (how long you work out) in order to improve your physical fitness. For example, if your physical fitness goals are centered on losing weight, 30 minutes of leisure walking (~2.0-2.5 mph) won’t cut it as you will not burn a sufficient amount of calories. However, if you walk at a more moderate pace (~3.0 mph) for 60 or more minutes you’ll burn the calories necessary for achieving your weight loss goals.
- Exercise often. Shoot for at least 4 days of cardio (i.e. jogging, bicycling, swimming) and 2 days of resistance training (i.e. free-weights, universal machines, Pilates). Infrequent exercise will do you more harm than good. You should also implement regularity in your daily eating and work/rest patterns.
- In order to improve your health and physical fitness, ensure that the amount of work you perform during any exercise session exceeds the normal demands that you place on your body. If you’re looking for some real results, you’ll have to put in some real effort. For example, if you walk to work or school at a 2.5 mph pace, treadmill walking at this same pace during an exercise session won’t be of much benefit to you. However, if you add a 1-2% incline to your treadmill walk, you can successfully overload your body and achieve the results you’re looking for.
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Disclaimer: The information provided is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Any reader who is concerned about his or her health should contact a physician for advice.
Before starting an exercise training program you should first make sure that exercise is safe for you. If you are under the age of 55 years and generally in good health, it is probably safe for you to exercise. However, if you are over 55 years of age and/or have any health problems, be sure to consult with your physician before starting an exercise training program.
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